I'm not talking about doing what it takes to make your families happy. What I am saying is that your personal happiness is way more important than you think.
Play along with this little exercise
Close your eyes and imagine a time when you were a child and your mother/father was happy, how do you intuitively feel right now?
Now imagine he/she is upset. You don’t even need to be told, you already know it. Can you still feel it in your body? (mine is in my heart and stomach)
Now open your eyes.
I want you to realize; TODAY You are the mother/father, happiness in the family starts with you.
In 2015 the Australian Institute of Family Studies announced their findings of their 12-year study.
That although there was a steady decline from 15, in the years before children, there was a slight increase in happiness.
Do You all remember this time? I do!
Do you remember that time when you were just starting to figure life out? You had a little bit of extra money, a free spirit, it was all about your significant other and friends.
Then you decided to get a house, a pet, have children. You learned what keeping up with the Jones’ was real. Coming to understand being over worked and over stretched is a status symbol in our society.
So just at the time when our children are looking to us as role models, is the EXACT time our happiness drops to it's all time low. Staying there until they have left the house.
Perfect timing right?!
Why does this happen when we love our children?
A. We put other's before ourselves
B. We work to support the family, activities, needs
C. We have no time or are too tired to look within, to answer questions, so we search for answers, or we go to the default of what we learned as children.
So, when women come to me for coaching one of the first things I have them do is take a Happiness Satisfaction Survey.
This is what I’ve discovered out of a 1-10 scale, ten being highest On average my clients come to me at a around a 6 (After just three months this average feeling of happiness jumps to 8.4)
This usually surprises them. But what I've found is that we have become so good at DOING that we are often numb at what our needs actually are.
It is too easy to help others because it takes the focus off ourselves
Because we are always moving, we are afraid to stop and look at ourselves
We might try self-help techniques, but they never stick
We listen to what worked for others, but it never seemed quite right for us
In other words, as Parents we have learned,
to keep moving is the best thing to do, so we do it well.
The problem with this plan is that we never stop
Bad habits feed the feeling to stay numb
Too much of anything (Having wine every night is REAL!)
Let’s face it, it is exhausting to keep moving, but it is a whole lot more comforting that stopping and asking yourself “What is going on.”
But I have faith in you.
if you did stop to listen to yourself for answers
you would know just what to do and where to start!
So, STOP for just a moment, close your eyes and Breathe in "JUST"; Breathe out "NOW". do this a few times.
Next, while looking at this picture and the word - Think about Happiness.
Answer this question:
What is one thing you can do at this moment to bring more happiness in your life?
Have that one thing? Wonderful... Now go and Create that moment! And then repeat this exercise! Because while happiness is not always our default, it is infectious!